The Challenge is People, The Reward is People

October 25th, 2016

This episode (#18) Cal OES Deputy Chief Paul Tassone sits down at the mic with us. Chief Tassone is going on his 34th year in law enforcement, and his 6th with Cal OES. His career began with a tour of duty in Air Force when he got out of high school. While in he received medical training and when he got out he began working as an EMT2 while going back to school. It was during that time he became interested in law enforcement. He attended the Sacramento Sheriff’s Academy in 1982 and spent the next couple of decades working his way up through the ranks, working closely with emergency management, until landing at Cal OES in 2011. He’s now deputy chief, administration. A self-proclaimed adrenalin junky, he loves working with emergency services and the people in that community.

Chief Tassone talks about how much he relies on technology and is especially impressed by modern mapping systems and their use during search and rescue missions – satellite trackers and real-time feeds from air to ground to help direct crews with pinpoint accuracy even at night. To see an example of that technology, click this link to watch a story that also includes night vision goggles and helicopter demonstrations (the monitoring is at the end of the video.)


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Cal OES Cyber Guys’ Protection Advice for October as Cyber Security Awareness Month

October 11th, 2016


From Left to Right in Photo:

ELI OWEN, Deputy Commander, California State Threat Assessment Center

THOR EDENS, California Cyber Security Integration Center

MICHAEL CREWS, Cal OES Information Security Officer

For this episode we brought three of California’s cybersecurity gurus who talk about some of things you and your agency/company can and should be doing to protect yourself from cybercrime. October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month which is an annual campaign to raise awareness about cybersecurity, but any month, any day is a good time to beef up your own personal protection. We live in a world that is more connected than ever before. The Internet touches almost all aspects of everyone’s daily life, whether we realize it or not. National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives to raise awareness about cybersecurity, provide them with tools and resources needed to stay safe online, and increase the resiliency of the Nation in the event of a cyber incident. (Source: Dept. of Homeland Security)

California Cybersecurity Integration Center’s (CalCSIC) mission is to reduce the likelihood and severity of cyber incidents that may significantly compromise the security and resilience of California’s economy, its critical infrastructure,and information resources. Cal OES executes this mission together with CDT, CHP and CMD. Cal-CSIC is comprised of two key functional components: (1) cyberthreat analysis; and, (2) dissemination and coordination of incident response and recovery operations (hereinafter “recovery”). Specifically, Cal-CSIC coordinates the identification, prevention or mitigation of cyber threats, as well as coordinates the response to, and recovery from significant cyber incidents. Cal-CSIC coordinates the production of threat assessments for theState, and facilitates analysis and exchange of cyber threat information with all affected organizations.

Terms Used:

Cyber Crime – Crime conducted via the Internet or someother computer network

APT – Advanced Persistent Threat

Social Engineering –  A line of attack that relies heavily on humaninteraction and often involves tricking people into breaking normal securityprocedures. (Source: TechTarget)

Spycraft – (aka Tradecraft) Within the intelligencecommunity, this refers to the techniques, methods and technologies used inmodern espionage (spying) and generally, as part of the activity ofintelligence.

Polymorphic – Polymorphic malware is harmful, destructiveor intrusive computer software such as a virus, worm, Trojan or spyware thatconstantly changes ("morphs"), making it difficult to detect withanti-malware programs. Evolution of the malicious code can occur in a varietyof ways such as filename changes, compression and encryption with variablekeys. (Source: TechTarget)

Spear phishing – An email that appears to be from anindividual or business that you know. But it isn't. It's from the same criminalhackers who want your credit card and bank account numbers, passwords, and thefinancial information on your PC.

Ransomware – There are different types of ransomware.However, all of them will prevent you from using your PC normally, and theywill all ask you to do something before you can use your PC. They can targetany PC users, whether it’s a home computer, endpoints in an enterprise network,or servers used by a government agency or healthcare provider.

Ransomware can:

  • Prevent you from accessing your computer.
  • Encrypt files so you can't use them.
  • Stop certain apps from running (like your web browser).
  • Ransomware will demand that you pay money (a “ransom”) toget access to your PC or files. We have also seen them make you completesurveys.
  • There is no guarantee that paying the fine or doing whatthe ransomware tells you will give access to your PC or files again. (Source:Microsoft) 


Stop Think Connect 


Ransomware Help

CalCSIC Announcement

California Cyber Security 


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Bringing Order to Chaos for 9/11, Katrina and Sandy

October 4th, 2016

Imagine this situation — the first time you visit New York City it just happens to be on 9/11. The second time you visit is during Hurricane Sandy, and the third time, would you even go back?  The man we’re going to talk to today experienced that string of disasters and suddenly found himself leading the initial emergency response to those historical events. He’s a UC Davis alum and 5th generation San Franciscan.
Robert J. Fenton, Jr. was appointed Regional Administrator for FEMA Region IX in July 2015.  Since joining FEMA in 1996, Mr. Fenton has played a significant role in numerous large-scale response and recovery operations in the U.S. and has responded to more than 50 Federal disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, the four Florida Hurricanes of 2004, the Southern California Wildfires of 2003 and 2007, the Super Typhoon Pongsona in Guam, and the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attacks.


FEMA's Mobile App

Urban Search and Rescue

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